Hydrofracking Research Paper

Risks of Hydrofracking
Introduced in the late 1990’s, a technology for natural gas extraction has created intense controversy. Its technical name is hydraulic fracturing, otherwise known as hydrofracking, or fracking. This advanced drilling technique has made it possible to retrieve deposits if methane gas, natural gas, trapped in formations of shale rock thousands of feet below the surface. This department has led the energy industry in the US to raise dramatically its estimates of the nation’s natural gas reserves and has unleashed a tremendous wave of new domestic drilling. However, hydrofracking has also inspired a fierce opposition due to concerns over water contamination, air pollution, and the environmental health hazards. Hydrofracking and its current techniques of drilling may be able to provide a possible solution to our nation’s dependence on crude oil; however, the harms of the Hydrofracking on the environment and to its nearby residents are too hazardous for companies to continue drilling.
In order to improve their hydrofracking process, many companies include carcinogens and toxins into their fracking fluid to improve their flow and effectiveness, and according to the Environmental Protection Agency, they didn’t require companies to disclose their mixtures, due to the industry’s competing interests. As a result, companies create these fracking cocktails that pose a serious risk to nearby residents and the environment. “Contamination from the fracking fluid mixture is widely considered more worrisome because the fluids can contain carcinogens like benzene.” (Urbina, 4) Another issue with the fracking fluid has to do with its “flowback,” or the amount of fracking fluid that resurfaces after the hydrofracking process ends. This flowback averages about 30 percent of its original amount of fluid sent down the well, but can range from 10 to 80 percent. (Delany, 1) “What does return to the surface is highly contaminated… the fracking fluid mixes with...